Gladiator 2: First look images out; internet has many thoughts about Denzel Washington’s role | Hollywood

The first look images of the highly-anticipated sequel to Gladiator is here! Vanity Fair revealed a bunch of new pictures of the cast on Monday evening, and fans cannot get enough of the upcoming epic that will be Gladiator 2, starring Paul Mescal, Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, Fred Hechinger, and Joseph Quinn. (Also read: Russell Crowe on ‘Gladiator’ sequel: I’m slightly uncomfortable that they’re making another one)

Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington in a still from Gladiator 2.
Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington in a still from Gladiator 2.

Gladiator 2 first look

The sequel follows Lucius (played by Oscar nominee Paul Mescal), the son of Maximus’ (Russell Crowe), who clashes with Pedro Pascal’s General Acacius in a battle for power. Talking about his character, Paul said Vanity Fair, “It’s very ‘angry young man’ drama in that sense. He can see the way Rome has kind of fallen in on itself. Rome represents all the personal neglect that he felt as a child. Suddenly he’s thrust back into that world and has direct proximity to all of the things that he thinks he hates and doesn’t feel attached to anymore.”

Denzel Washington as Macrinus

Even as fans enthusiastically reacted to the first images of Gladiator 2, it was one look at Denzel Washington’s character that garnered the maximum attention. The report adds that Denzel plays Macrinus, with director Ridley Scott stating, “Denzel is an arms dealer who supplies food for the armies in Europe, supplies wine and oil, makes steel, makes spears, weapons, cannons, and catapults. So he is a very wealthy man. Instead of having a stable of racehorses, he has a stable of gladiators.”

Mixed reactions

Reacting to Denzel’s first look, a fan said, “Might be more excited to see Denzel in this than anyone else and the cast is very good.” A second fan wrote, “The best to ever do it.” “Some of you are gonna see this for Mescal but many of us are gonna see this for Denzel,” said a second fan.

However, there were also a lot of mixed reactions to Denzel being cast in a movie set in ancient Rome. “Black Roman Imperator? Ahshhahahahhah Great job woke historians,” read a comment. Another said, “What in the woke is that casting? Can you leave period movies out of all this please??” A comment which defended the casting of Denzel read, “lol this comment section ain’t it: first, no Denzel is not even playing an emperor here, he’s playing a wealthy merchant and secondly, for gods sake THERE WAS A BLACK EMPEROR: Septimus Severus. Google is free people.”

The original Gladiator, released in 2000, was a huge critical and commercial success, winning the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe. Gladiator 2 releases in theatres on November 22.

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